[Tomato Dirt #189] Get Your Garden Ready for Winter: 3 Quick Steps
November 07, 2019
Tomato Dirt Newsletter Volume 9, Number 23
Dear Tomato Dirt reader,
Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! A couple times a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.
Browse Gifts for Gardeners (and Make YOUR List for Santa)
Find the perfect gift for the gardeners on your list! From gift sets to kitchen and harvest accessories to gardening supply kits … even bulbs and plants, too. Check out our selection of great home gardening gifts for the holidays. Take a look.
FEATURE: Get Your Garden Ready for Winter in 3 Quick Steps
Image: Tomato Dirt
After you’ve cleared out the tomato plants, removed the tomato stakes, cleaned them, and stored them, it’s time now to turn your attention to the garden itself. Your garden is still busy during the winter … just underground. Earthworms and microbes in the soil process leftover summer’s remaining mulch and other organic material. You can help things along.
Burn debris before you turn the soil. Pile discarded leaves, straw, grass clippings, and other yard debris in your vegetable garden. Then burn them. Burning adds wood ash to your garden. Trace minerals are in the ash, thereby replacing those nutrients in the garden.
Burning also destroys weed seeds, fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms that overwinter in the soil.
Turn the soil. Break the ground deeply. Cultivating hardened soil allows winter rains to be deeply absorbed. This step will greatly improve the quality of the soil for your upcoming crop as it will allow wood ash and other organic matter to be restored. Then spade or rototill organic matter into the soil, mixing well to a depth of 8 to 12 inches.
Mulch. Straw, compost, or mulch help your garden maintain an even temperature during the cold months. But the biggest benefit arrives next season during the wet spring. Mulched planting areas are protected from becoming a muddy, clumped mess. When you’re ready to plant, you can pull back undecomposed mulch, straw, or compost and get your crop in the ground on time.
Two horticulturalists combine forces to give you advice about the right way to prune, fertilize, water and stake tomatoes. You’ll be able to diagnose pest and disease problems using step by step priceless information, illustrated with 260 full color photos.